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Economics of the Common Agricultural Policy - Rainer Wichern

Author(s): Rainer Wichern (Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs)

Economics of the Common Agricultural Policy - Rainer Wichern pdf (3 MB) Choose translations of the previous link 

The 2003 reform of the Common Agricultural Policy has been assessed as an important reform in the right direction with respect to allocational efficiency and regarding environmental, animal welfare and food safety requirements. From an economic point of view the introduction of decoupled direct payments will reduce distortions in production decisions and, thus improve sectoral efficiency. Several papers have supported this reform.

While acknowledging and supporting these views with respect to the 2003 reform, this paper, however, tries to highlight that the overall support level for the agricultural sector remains relatively high and that most of the farm support still stems from market price support. In systematically analysing the main CAP measures and using most recent figures, it is shown that price support – together with quota restrictions and land set aside obligations – is one of the least efficient CAP instrument currently in place. Thus, the success of the 2003 reform does not allow for a position of leaning back. On the contrary, the drive of previous reforms (1992 and AGENDA 2000) with respect to bringing EU prices down to competitive levels need to be kept and perhaps even be further accelerated.

(European Economy. Economic Papers 211. August 2004. Brussels. 67pp. Tab. Free.)

KC-AI-04-211-EN-C (online)
ISBN 92-894-7878-0 (online)
ISSN 1725-3187 (online)

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